West Brom will be looking to follow up their 3-2 win at the Sports Direct Arena in midweek with a hard-fought victory over league leaders Manchester City at the Hawthorns.
Roy Hodgson’s side have won their last two fixtures in late circumstances on the road. A late goal from Peter Odemwingie against Blackburn last weekend was followed by Paul Scharner’s winner at Newcastle in midweek. Odemwingie scored again in rhe North East and his confidence is high, which could cause problems for City. The Nigerian is often known as a confidence player and he will again partner Shane Long up front for Albion. Hodgson is hopeful James Morrison will have recovered from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the 3-2 win at Newcastle. Youssouf Mulumbu and Jerome Thomas are major doubts, whilst Steven Reid has been ruled out for a month following a knee operation.
Manchester City have been in good form since their 2-1 win defeat against Chelsea and got back to winning ways with a win against Arsenal last weekend. That 1-0 victory was followed by an easy performance against Stoke in midweek, where they won 3-0. Roberto Mancini’s men are still two points ahead of Manchester United at the top of the table and will be looking to keep the same standing going into the New Year. Striker Edin Dzeko is the club’s main injury concern with an ankle strain that should rule him out of the game at the Hawthorns. Micah Richards should shake off the calf injury he suffered in midweek and will start at right back. City went into Christmas top of the table for the first time since 1929 and have the belief that they can go all the way and win the title.
City have won the previous three encounters with West Brom and will be looking to keep three consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season. Albion are playing good football and will cause City problems, but in the end, Mancini’s side will keep their standing at the top of the table. Both teams will score however in a quality encounter at the Hawthorns.
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